Selecting the right marketing automation software shouldn’t be like trying to solve a confusing and complex math equation. You also shouldn’t have to spend an arm and a leg to get the right tools to grow your small business

Marketing platforms come in many different shapes and sizes. When you find one that’s straightforward, it’s like finding gold. It’s even better if that platform is 100 percent free. 

But, there are a lot of options out there. It can be easy to head straight for the one that is well-known or widely used. While HubSpot is a marketing automation industry leader, that doesn’t mean it’s the right solution for your small business. And even though HubSpot offers some free tools, that doesn’t mean those tools don’t come with additional costs in order to be effective. 

BenchmarkONE just released a new plan built with small businesses in mind – our Free Forever plan. With this plan, we aimed to give small businesses access to features that keep them competitive, help them achieve their marketing and sales goals, and provide them with a simple solution that won’t eat up their budget. 

Let’s dive into how our Free Forever plan differs from HubSpot’s free tools, and why ultimately, BenchmarkONE is a better fit for your small business.

Content Management 

HubSpot’s free CRM includes a landing page builder, but not a full content management system. If you want to use HubSpot’s CMS to create blog content, you’ll have to upgrade to their Professional package, which is $800 a month. 

BenchmarkONE’s marketing automation software works seamlessly with other content management systems, so you aren’t tied down to an all-in-one option. While our free plan includes a landing page builder, unlike HubSpot, there’s no interference with your current CMS, and you won’t have to upgrade to a paid option just to access one. 

Also, say you use HubSpot’s free tools and eventually upgrade. Would you transition all your content over to HubSpot’s CMS, or would you continue to use what you’re currently using? Users have said that while transferring content to HubSpot’s CMS isn’t tedious, the result is a website that is less than user-friendly. If you go with the alternative of upgrading your account without using HubSpot’s CMS, you’re spending money on a feature you don’t need. 

Social Media

Much like their CMS, HubSpot offers social media scheduling, publishing, and analytics. However, their social media features aren’t free. If you want to use HubSpot’s social media tool, you have to upgrade to their Professional package, which, as previously stated, is a pretty far jump from free. And again, if you upgrade to that package but decide not to use their social media tool, you’re basically wasting money. 

BenchmarkONE doesn’t compete with any social media tool you’re already using – instead, we make it easy to use other tools to build a robust marketing stack. You can manage your social content while using all the other tools alongside our free plan. And, if you decide to upgrade to one of our paid packages, you can still use the social media tool you’re accustomed to. There’s no need to switch over to a new tool and spend valuable time learning how to use it and track results. And forget about paying a hefty fee for something you aren’t even using. 

Feature Clarity

While HubSpot’s free tools include CRM, sales, and marketing reporting dashboards, they’re extremely limited and not very intuitive. Users of HubSpot’s free tools have stated that their reporting isn’t easily accessible. Some reports may be under one tab, while others are only visible in other places, which requires a lot of digging around to find what you need. And, while you’re able to see an overview, drilling down into the data to decipher key patterns and activity is extremely difficult. 

HubSpot’s free tools are designed to encourage upgrades. While you may be getting a lot of functionality for free, it’s limited, which usually results in needing to purchase a paid plan. The issue with the paid plans is that there is an overabundance of features that not many small businesses find useful. This means you’ll be paying for tools you don’t need, wasting valuable marketing dollars in the process. 

With BenchmarkONE, you know exactly what you’re getting with our free plan. There are no disparities between our features, just exactly what you’re signing up for – simple, easy-to-use marketing automation and contact management capabilities. In-app you’ll find everything laid out in an organized and structured way so you can locate what you need without digging and running around in circles. 

Transparency

HubSpot’s pricing page, in general, is confusing. They have a ton of options, and each has different features and terms to keep in mind. There are free tools, marketing and sales packages, customer service packages, and bundles, all vying for your attention and consideration. It can be overwhelming for small businesses with tight budgets to determine which offering makes the most sense for their needs. 

I don’t know about you, but when I see something that complicated, I immediately second guess it. What is the benefit of confusing potential users? At BenchmarkONE, our goal is to enable and support our small business customers. The last thing we want to do is overwhelm them, confuse them, or rope them into a plan that offers tools they don’t need. 

At BenchmarkONE, we’re a small team of SMB enthusiasts. In fact, we’re a small business ourselves. We truly understand the needs of our customers and the demands they’re under in today’s world. We know their struggles. We empathize with them, and we want to help reduce them by offering simple tools that are easy to use and deliver results. 

Sign up for our Free Forever plan today and see exactly what we mean.